It looks like folks were waiting optimistically for Kotobukiya's second rendition of Makinami Mari (the first, reviewed), this time in 1/7-scale and featuring the green test plug suit and set to match with the 1/7-scale Asuka (reviewed) and Rei figures. From previews and such we could see that the details are nice, but how does it hold up now that one of us has it in our hands?
Hit through the jump to see my full review.
Figure Name: Makinami Mari Illustrious, Plug suit style
Figure Maker: Kotobukiya
Available at: Koto US
Mari's box is green to match her plug suit's motif, and has plenty of windows for you to peek in through. Besides that, it's pretty standard fare and no chunkier than necessary.
Once you open her up and take out the tray, she needs a little assembly. The cables have to be attached to her arm and down to the base, and then there are rock pieces that go there to cover it up a little (not shown above). She attaches to her base with foot pegs and the helmet strap has to be eased into her hand. The strap itself is bendy and should easily pop in there.
The first thing I noticed after taking a look at her turnaround is she's got some wide hips and a thin little waist leading up to a nice bust. I'm not too sure how I feel about the thinness considering her big thighs - it looks a little odd, I suppose? But since this is faithful to her design, it isn't necessarily Kotobukiya's fault, here. Then again, it might just be those attachments on her hips that make her look wider.
Here's a look at that bust. I see them and I think.. "helmet hair" except for breasts. It doesn't look as bad as that on the shelf, though. Zooming in on her chest like this just makes all breast-shape lines/molding look more apparent, which makes her breasts look less "natural."
Besides that, you can see some nice paint and molding work all around, though. I still just really love the color.
Once you get a bit further down, we've got the end of the top section and the beginning of those awesome thighs and legs. Everything here is molded excellently and all the straps on the side there are a separate layer. It's subtle, but the legs are also shaded to give it that extra texture and the look of real skin underneath.
The straps lead back here to her booty, which is also rather well-molded. I can appreciate a nice butt anytime. The paint job back here is also nice and clean.
More than the front, I actually like how she looks from behind much more. She's got plenty of nice detail there and it looks nice with the helmet hanging from her hand. Add her head-tip and hip sway movement along with the cables on her right arm, and it just becomes a "pictures say a thousand words" scenario for me.
The helmet has some clear plastic parts mixed in with the opaque. You could technically pose the helmet wherever you want, but then she'd look a little silly standing there with one arm up. Like she just did a yawn and stretch and left her hand up there.
Getting the cables in her right arm is pretty simple -- just be gentle. Each cable has a unique plug shape to it that pops in. The problem is that it pegs into a part that's long and thin, so make sure you don't accidentally break it off or something.
The cables themselves are clear blue and have a gradient, making the blue darker as it gets down to the floor/base. I thought that was a nice touch.
Finally, we've got her face. Mari actually comes with an extra hair piece so you could essentially pose her with two expressions. The first/default "expression" is with the glasses on. You can remove that hair piece (and the glasses along with it) and replace it with another set of bangs to get her second "expression," which looks totally different despite the face plate being the same.
Without the glasses on, she looks so much more serious, and a little older! I couldn't really decide which one I liked more, though right now she's sitting next to me with the glasses on for the sake of.. well, I dunno. I just like glasses on characters in general.
For fans of the show and of the character, Mari is a solid figure! Unfortunately, I don't own or even have access to the Asuka and Rei figures that match this version to take a group picture, but I'm certain the three look fabulous together if you're into that sort of thing. Personally, I think the helmet and cables accessories add a level of dynamism that felt lacking in other figures of the same character, and I definitely like the green on her rather than the pink.
Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample! And since Evangelion is probably your thing and definitely not mine, I'll be giving this excellent figure away in a contest quite soon. If you like what you see here, keep a look out sometime in early 2013 for your chance to own it! Of course, you always have the option of purchasing it yourself from Koto US or various other retailers, as she is still rather widely available.
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